Progressive prosecution- Fairfax DUI lawyer on NoVa retrenchment
Progressive prosecution in Northern Virginia- Fairfax DUI lawyer addresses pursuing that path and on the unseating of a progressive commonwealth’s attorney
Four Northern Virginia commonwealth’s attorneys / chief prosecutors started office nearly four years ago on progressive prosecution (PP) platforms. As a Fairfax DUI lawyer, I know that claims of progressiveness only help Virginia criminal defendants when put into action, and that we criminal defense lawyers can remind prosecutors, as needed, of the importance of effectuating that PP agenda. I also know that in the neighboring northwest county to me, a former more traditional prosecutor has unseated the self-styled PP chief prosecutor. In the final analysis, regardless of who is a Virginia DUI or criminal defendant’s prosecutor or judge, that is the defendant’s prosecutor or judge unless and until one or both of them are replaced by someone else. Therefore, defendants and their Virginia DUI lawyers — defending against prosecutions alleging driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs against Virginia Code § 18.2-266. need to make the best of the situation at hand not only with their prosecutor and judge, but also with all aspects of their case.
Was the Fairfax chief prosecutor re-elected?
Fairfax County chief prosecutor Steve Descano ran unopposed in the general election, except that 22% of the votes were write ins. I do not anticipate the election to affect any developments with Fairfax commonwealth’s attorney Steve Descano’s progressive prosecution approach. Fairfax and the state’s capital have the most active DUI and criminal case dockets in their respective courthouses. At least to the extent that crime statistics increase in Fairfax, that will be fodder for those running against self-styled progressive prosecutors in other jurisdictions as well. (And progressive does not always mean criminal defense friendly. Consider for instance that self-styled progressives are among the most vocal advocates for limiting access to handguns and other firearms to a wide universe of people, where any violation of a gun control court order or statute can mean a conviction and incarceration. The Fairfax chief prosecutor spiritedly seeks substantial risk orders (SROs) to limit firearm possession, for starters.)
Do all prosecutors in Fairfax County proceed with progressive prosecution?
Fairfax County has three cities/towns (Fairfax City, Vienna and Herndon) that appoint their own chief prosecutors to litigate Virginia DUI and other misdemeanor cases. Those city/town chief prosecutors do not take orders from the chief Fairfax county prosecutor. None of those city/town prosecutors in Fairfax County present themselves as pursuing progressive prosecution, and one in particular proceeds in a much different fashion. I have been dealing with them for years, other than that the Fairfax City chief prosecutor became a judge earlier this year, and I know the chief and deputy prosecutor who have replaced him.
What changes will happen in the Northern Virginia county getting a non-progressive chief prosecutor?
For decades before self-styled progressives took over the Northern Virginia county prosecutor’s offices, I had already been successfully defending DUI and criminal defendants in non-progressive jurisdictions, which means I am ready for any prosecutor I deal with, whether claiming to pursue progressive prosecution or not. The incoming chief prosecutor who has unseated his self-styled progressive incumbent opponent in the county northwest of me at least has been including criminal defense in his work during his many years out of office, which hopefully gives him more empathy for Virginia DUI and criminal defendants. I have met him, speaking ever so briefly a few times, when he came across as a decent person.
Whom should I hire as my Virginia DUI lawyer?
Ideally, you will obtain a Virginia DUI lawyer who knows how to deal with all clients, prosecutors (both pursuing progressive prosecution or not), judges, jurors, police and other opposing witnesses. I have successfully defended hundreds of DUI defendants and thousands of criminal defendants overall. I am among a small percentage of Virginia DWI defenders who are members of the National College of DUI Defense (NCDD) or its equivalent. I am also among a small percentage of such defenders who have been trained by one of the nation’s top trainers of police in standard field sobriety tests (SFSTs) on those who have actually been consuming alcohol.
Fairfax DUI lawyer Jonathan Katz pursues your best defense against Virginia DWI prosecutions. Call 703-383-1100 for your free in-person initial confidential consultation with Jon Katz about your court-pending prosecution.